KYIV, Ukraine — Ukraine has said the United Nations should step in to monitor the evacuation route for civilians from the besieged steel mill in Mariupol, the last stronghold of Ukrainian troops in the port city.
Deputy Prime Minister Irina Vereshchuk said on the Telegram messaging app that the Russian announcement of a “humanitarian corridor” from the Azovstal plant to operate later Monday was not agreed with Ukraine. Vereshchuk said Ukraine does not consider the route safe for this reason and added that Russia had previously violated agreements on similar evacuation routes.
Ukrainian officials say more than 1,000 civilians have taken shelter at the massive steel plant.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is due to visit Russia and Ukraine this week. Vereshchuk called Guterres the “initiator and guarantor” of the humanitarian route from Azovstal and the UN and the International Committee of Red Cross personnel with any evacuations.
Major Developments in the Russo-Ukraine War:
– America has promised new aid to Ukraine in the fight against Russia
– To Europe’s relief, France’s Macron wins but far-flung gains
– Russian officers: missiles to carry multiple hypersonic warheads
– Follow all Associated Press stories on Russia’s war against Ukraine https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine
MOSCOW – Russia’s energy ministry says a massive fire at an oil depot in western Russia will not cause a fuel shortage.
Monday’s fire damaged a diesel fuel depot in Bryansk and officials are dealing with the consequences of the fire, the ministry said in a statement.
The ministry said the supply of fuel to consumers has not been interrupted and noted that the region has enough diesel fuel for 15 days.
The emergency ministry said earlier that a massive fire broke out overnight at a depot owned by Transneft-Druzhba, a subsidiary of Russian state-controlled company Transneft, part of the western-bound Druzhba (Friendship) pipeline carrying crude to Europe. operates. It was not immediately clear what caused the fire and whether it could affect deliveries in Europe.
MOSCOW – Russian President Vladimir Putin has accused the US and its allies of trying to “divide Russian society”.
Speaking at a meeting with top officials at the prosecutor general’s office on Monday, Putin said Russia has come under “unprecedented Western sanctions” amid military crackdown in Ukraine.
He alleged that the US and its allies sought to “divide Russian society and destroy Russia from within”, saying their plans had failed.
Putin urged Russian prosecutors to act more quickly to stop unrestricted demonstrations organized from abroad. He also said that he should focus on uncovering “open provocations” against the Russian military that allegedly involve international media and social platforms.
KYIV, Ukraine – Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky has described talks with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin as “encouraging” and “effective”.
In Monday’s video address, he said the US was offering “powerful” support to his country. Zelensky said that they “agreed on further steps to strengthen the Armed Forces of Ukraine and meet all the primary needs of our military.” He added that increasing sanctions against Moscow was also on the agenda of the meeting.
Blinken and Austin said the United States had approved $165 million in sales of ammunition for Ukraine’s war effort, as well as more than $300 million in foreign military funding.
Zelensky noted that Ukraine would expect the United States to lead other allies in offering a set of security guarantees in the future.
Ukraine’s president denounced Russia for launching the attacks on Orthodox Easter Sunday, describing them as “the deliberate destruction of life in Ukraine”.
MOSCOW – The Russian military says it will open a humanitarian corridor for civilians to evacuate from the besieged steel plant in Mariupol.
The Russian Defense Ministry said a humanitarian corridor would open at 2 p.m. (1100 GMT) on Monday, so that all civilians could exit the Azovstal plant in Mariupol. It said Russian troops would cease firing to allow civilians to exit the plant safely.
Huge steel plant, consisting of a vast maze of underground channels. The Azov port remains the last bastion of Ukrainian resistance in the strategic Sea of the City.
Ukrainian officials say more than 1,000 civilians have taken refuge there. He has repeatedly urged Russia to offer him a safe exit.
MOSCOW – Russian officials say a fire has broken out at an oil storage facility in western Russia.
The Ministry of Emergency Situations said a massive fire broke out in the Bryansk city depot early Monday. The reason for this was not immediately clear.
The oil depot is owned by Transneft-Druzhba, a subsidiary of the Russian state-controlled company Transneft, which operates the western-bound Druzhba (Friendship) pipeline carrying crude oil to Europe. It was not clear whether the depot was part of the pipeline’s infrastructure and whether the fire could have affected deliveries.
Another oil storage facility in Bryansk also caught fire early Monday, Russian news reported, and the cause was not immediately known.
Bryansk lies about 100 kilometers (60 mi) north of the border with Ukraine, where Moscow has conducted a military operation for two months. Last month, two Ukrainian helicopter gunships collided with an oil reservoir in Russia’s Belgorod region bordering Ukraine, causing a fire.
KYIV, Ukraine – Ukrainian officials say the Russian military has carried out several attacks on the country’s railways.
Lviv region governor Maksim Kozitsky said a Russian missile struck a railway facility in Krasne, about 40 kilometers (25 miles) east of Lviv, early Monday, causing a fire.
The head of state-run Ukrainian Railways, Oleksandr Kamyshin, said a total of five rail facilities in central and western Ukraine have been affected by the Russian attacks. He said at least 16 passenger trains have been delayed due to the attacks.
There was no immediate information about the damage caused by the strike.
Near the Polish-Ukrainian border – US Secretary of State Antony Blinken says Russia is failing in its war objectives and Ukraine is succeeding.
Following a meeting with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv on Sunday with US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Blinken told reporters in Poland on Monday that Russia had pulled out of Kyiv and Ukraine’s north to focus on the eastern Donbass region. The soldiers have been pulled back. , “When it comes to Russia’s war goals, Russia is failing, Ukraine is succeeding.”
In footage of the meeting later released by the Ukrainian president, Blinken praised the “extraordinary courage and leadership and success you have in pushing back this terrible Russian offensive.”
“We’re used to seeing you on video all over the world, but it’s great, nice to see you in person,” Blinken said with a smile.
Blinken said US diplomats returning to the country would redeploy the consulate in Lviv in western Ukraine before returning to Kyiv.
Austin said the “world has been inspired” by Ukraine in the war and that the US would continue its support.
The United States is giving Ukraine new military aid and a diplomatic push in the war-ravaged nation as President Joe Biden’s secretary of state and Pentagon chief complete a secret visit to Kyiv – near the Polish-Ukrainian border.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin briefed Ukraine’s president on a package of more than $300 million in foreign military funding and $165 million in ammunition sales.
He also said Biden would announce his choice for the US ambassador to Ukraine and that US diplomats left behind before Russia’s invasion of February would begin returning to the country this coming week.
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky said he planned to meet with US officials in Kyiv on Sunday, but the Biden administration declined to confirm or discuss any details of a possible visit.
It was the highest-level US visit to the capital since Russia’s invasion in late February.
Austin and Blinken announced a total of $713 million in foreign military funding for Ukraine and 15 allied and partner countries. Some $322 million has been earmarked for Kyiv.
Officials say the remainder will be divided among NATO members and other countries that have provided Ukraine with vital military supplies since the war with Russia began.
LVIV, Ukraine – A fire has broken out at a Russian oil depot near the border with Ukraine.
The Tass news agency reported a fire in Bryansk early Monday. The Russian report said the fire broke out at the facility’s oil storage tanks around 2 a.m. local time.
Fire-tracking NASA satellites show fires burning at coordinates corresponding to the Rosneft facility, about 110 kilometers (70 miles) north of the Ukrainian border.
An adviser to the head of Ukraine’s Ministry of Internal Affairs, Anton Gerashchenko, was quoted by the Ukrainian news agency Union as saying that people living near the burning oil depot were being evacuated.
Moscow has previously blamed Ukraine for the attacks on the Russian territory of Bryansk, which borders Ukraine.
Ukraine’s top security officials have denied that Kyiv was behind the first airstrike on an oil depot in the Russian city of Belgorod, about 60 kilometers (35 miles) from the border.
MARIUPOL, Ukraine – A newly released video shows children from Ukraine receiving Easter gifts in an underground bunker.
The video was released on Sunday by the far-right Azov Battalion, one of the Ukrainian forces at the Azovstal steelworks, where soldiers and civilians are holed up under Russian attack.
The group’s deputy commander, Svyatoslav Palmar, says the video was shot at the plant on Sunday.
A child is seen wearing a homemade diaper made of cellophane. People are hanging laundry on temporary hangers.
One of the women in the video pleads with world leaders for help, saying she and the others trapped under the plant are tired of the bombings and desperate for their freedom.
“The kids are crying incessantly here – they want to play and live,” she adds. “Stop this aggression. I ask everyone, please help, set us free!”
Another woman says 600 civilians are taking shelter under the plant without food and water.